Kara Swisher

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Former Yahoo CFO Blake Jorgensen Moves to Levi (Plus the Full Press Release)

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Blake Jorgensen, who left Yahoo as part of a management reorganization by CEO Carol Bartz, has taken a job as CFO at Levi Strauss & Co.

He’s the second Yahoo to move to the the jeanswear manufacturer recently. Former Yahoo (YHOO) PR head Jill Nash took over communications at Levi several months ago.

Jorgensen, who got a $1.8 million severance from Yahoo, came to the Internet company several years ago.

Here’s the full press release:

LEVI STRAUSS & CO. APPOINTS NEW CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Yahoo! CFO brings Global Finance and Strategic Experience to World’s Leading Jeanswear Company

SAN FRANCISCO (May 28, 2009)–Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&CO.) today named Blake Jorgensen the company’s new executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective July 1, 2009. Jorgensen is currently the chief financial officer for Yahoo! Inc., a leading global Internet company. He will report directly to LS&CO.’s Chief Executive Officer John Anderson.

“Blake is a seasoned finance executive who brings a broad background of leadership, operational and strategic experience to Levi Strauss & Co.,” said Anderson. “He has a successful track record of working with global consumer product companies and his deep financial experience will be a tremendous asset as we continue to position the company for future growth.”

Prior to joining Yahoo!, Jorgensen co-founded Thomas Weisel Partners in 1998, where he served as chief operating officer, co-director of investment banking and a member of the Executive Committee. He managed all aspects of the publicly traded investment bank. Jorgensen also managed the investment bank’s relationships with key investors and several strategic alliances with international partners.

Before founding Thomas Weisel Partners, Jorgensen served as a managing director and principal in the corporate finance department of Montgomery Securities, where he oversaw the integration of Montgomery Securities into NationsBank and Bank of America. Earlier in his career, he worked as an independent management consultant to global corporations and held strategic planning and consulting positions with MAC Group/Gemini Consulting and Marakon Associates.

“I’m excited to be part of an iconic company with leading global brands,” said Jorgensen. “The Levi’s® and Dockers® brands are loved by consumers around the world. Based on the strength of these brands, I believe there are tremendous opportunities ahead for growth worldwide. I look forward to working with John Anderson and the entire Levi Strauss & Co. worldwide leadership team to realize this growth potential.”

Jorgensen takes over the chief financial officer role from Heidi Manes, the company’s vice president and controller, who has served as interim CFO for the past nine months.

“I want to thank Heidi for her strong leadership during the past nine months and our entire finance leadership team for continuing to build the financial strength of the company while we searched for our new CFO,” said Anderson. “Blake will work closely with Heidi once he is on board to ensure a smooth transition.”

Jorgensen holds a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University with a major in Economics, and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.


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